Conference established a commission that will spend the next few months examining ways of strengthening party democracy.
As Chris Harman put it in his introduction to the session, the commission would “refresh the structures of accountability and democracy inside the party”.
Chris emphasised that the SWP is already a democratic organisation – but recent difficulties had shown there is room for improvement.
An activist organisation like the SWP will always require a leadership that takes initiatives to respond rapidly to events, he said. But it must also engage in debate with members.
A proposal from the floor that the commission be increased in size to 18 members was rejected by a large majority.
Judith Orr from the central committee argued that the commission should be a “working body” that coordinated discussion throughout the party.
Discussion should not be limited to the members of the commission.
Conference elected ten members of the commission, who will work with four central committee members.
The commission has a wide remit, covering everything from party structures to the conduct of internal debates and use of the internet.
After appropriate discussion and consultation with members around the country, the commission will produce a report.
This will be discussed among the membership and its recommendations voted on at a special one-day SWP conference in the spring.